Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Am I A Party Pooper?

Joey was just invited to a birthday party. The fourth one this school year, actually. Man. For a small class of just 16 kids they sure do know how to party. It seems that someone is having a birthday party every week. And while Joey has not been able to make it to all the birthday parties he has been invited to he certainly wants to go to all of them. He always has a blast.

The birthday party that he was just invited to is a swim party. Does that raise your eyebrows as it did mine? Because I definitely have concerns. You see, Joey is 5 years old. And at 5 years old, while he is comfortable in the water, he does not swim well yet. The party is at the YMCA, and while I'm sure there will be a lifeguard there, and the birthday boy's parents as well, I'm still not very comfortable with it. With 10-15 boys to watch it makes me pretty uncomfortable to even think about. The boys in Joey's class (there are 12 boys and 4 girls- ack!) are WILD to say the least.

And what about when the swimming is over? While Joey is perfectly capable of dressing himself I can't really picture him showering, undressing, drying off, dressing, packing a swim bag up, and remembering everything he brought with him all by himself. It just isn't going to happen. Are the parents going to be helping all the boys? And if so, I don't even really know these parents very well. It just seems like it could so easily get out of hand. All of it.

Am I completely out of line here? Am I being a stick in the mud? Too overprotective? What do you think? Would you send your 5 year old to a swim party?

48 comments:

Mom24 said...

We had a swim party when Jacob turned 5. We had one adult per 4 children. The parents who wanted to stay were more than welcome too. Some did, most didn't, it was fine with me either way. When we were done swimming the kids just dried off with their towels and put on cover ups. Isn't it funny, I can't remember exactly how we handled it, but I do remember it wasn't a big deal and we certainly didn't change all of them. I think I probably went in the locker room with the girls and my hubby and older son went in with the boys, but the kids did the work themselves. My overwhelming memory of that party is that it was WAY TOO MUCH. At the end of it Jacob was crying from sheer exhaustion. We hadn't set out to have a swim party, we were supposed to have a low-key party in the park, but then it decided to rain and with 48 hours to go, there weren't a lot of options for a plan B. Anyway, we had 20 kids and they all had a great time...except Jacob at the end! Good luck deciding what's best for you and Joey. It doesn't matter how any one else feels about it, be true to your comfort zone.

Dianna said...

You sound just like me*!*
Last year my oldest (then 6 1/2) was invited to one. She begged and I knew the family well but at the time, same thing, she wasn't a strong swimmer, too many kids (32!), etc. So I just came too (she wasn't going otherwise). She didn't care and the parents of course didn't mind either. (Good chance to get to know the families of the kids she's with every day also) It wasn't so bad but
B E L I E V E me, I know where you're coming from*!*

Stephanie said...

While I would say yes, I would let my daughter go, she is only 1 yr old and I'm not in that position. But I see where you are coming from. These are things I've never really had to think about yet. So I don't really know how I'd handle it but I would say do not do anything that you are not comfortable with. What does your husband think?

Beck said...

I would absolutely not let my child go - and in fact, I've turned down numerous invitations JUST LIKE THAT.
A child drowned at a birthday party much like that one - my brother was working as a janitor at the centre and got to hear way too much about it later that day. And now, my children will never go to swimming parties.

Tonya said...

I go to all the parties and stay. This year was the first time I didn't stay with my daughter at a party and she's 7 1/2 years old. I would go with and just keep an eye on your son. You could probably get in the water too. Just ask the parents when you call to respond any questions you have or concerns. If he already knows about the party the kids at school will probably be talking about it before it happens and afterwards too. You'll do what you know is best for you guys.

HM said...

Can you go with him to the party?? He'd get to have fun with his friends and you might feel better. And I DO think 5 is waaay too young for a swimming party!

Dawn said...

I was going to say maybe you could stay...but it looks like everyone else beat me to it. ;) I remember when my daughter was five, that it was the age when I was always uncertain about whether I was supposed to stay or leave.

Elaine A. said...

Can't you be there with him? If it were me and I decided to let him go I would go with him.

A Buns Life said...

I don't know about you or anyone else, but I still don't drop off and leave. I stay and help....call me overprotective or whatever but I just don't feel comfortable leaving. My oldest is 6. Every parent has been more than happy with me staying and helping too! It's a win-win.

Jessica (a.k.a. Mom) said...

Knowing how my 7 year old son acts in the water, I wouldn't let him go. HE gets too wild and I'd worry about him getting out of control and being unreasonable about it with the other adults. On the other hand, I'd probably let my 5 year old daughter go if I knew the family well enough and the parent/child ratio was good.

Brittany said...

I am with everyone saying that you should just go to the party, too. I mean, why not? Any party I EVER have for my kids, unless it's when they are older (and it's a sleepover) I think I would be more than happy to allow the parents to stay.

Besides... every party has a pooper, that's why they invited YOU! ;) ha ha. Ever heard that song? Andy sings it to me everyday... apparently I am a party pooper.

Kathryn said...

I have thought about going along but we'll see if that works or not. It is bow hunting season and Todd tries to go on weekends, so if I would go with Joe to the party then I'd have to get a babysitter for the other two boys. It is kinda tough that way.
******
I just have this memory of my first grade class going to the YMCA together. I was a very good swimmer at that point already but it was still dangerous with all the kids in the pool. As I was coming up for air from swimming under water the bully of the class (who was the size of a 5th grader) jumped on my back and pushed me back under. It was really scary.
I remember the nun (my 1st grade teacher) yanked the kid out of the pool and really gave it to him. I think she was more scared than I was.
I just think about scary stuff like that because 4 of Joey's classmates are OUT OF CONTROL. They are sent to the office on a daily basis. Scary to think how they would be in a pool.

And BECK!!!! Scary! There is no way Joey is going to this party without me now. SO SCARY!

Jewelgirl said...

A little young for a swim party unless you're from the fish species
(ha ha) but parties are such fun for little ones. I would definitely want
to hang around and help. They would
probably welcome the help with all
the boys in the class.

Wendy said...

Will went to a swim party when he was 6... His Nana went with him; I was not about to send him by himself! (I had another commitment that day; she volunteered to take him.) It was at an aquatic center with lifeguards. I would definitely not let a child go by himself to a swim party unless they were say, 11 or 12 and I felt confident of their swimming ability. Also, small groups are definitely better!

Momisodes said...

I think my mom went with me to most birthday parties until I was past 7-8 years old. I'm not sure if I would let my daughter go. IF they were close friends, they I would probably go with my child and stay. But if I wasn't friends with them, or didn't know them well, then I'd probably say no.

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

Girl, I totally relate and it is refreshing to find someone who thinks the same way.

HELLZ NO I say. You are NOT being over protective, you're being a good parent.

scrap chair potato said...

Better safe than sorry, right?
I have been to a pool party before and had to take my other two boys along. It was a very close friend and there were only a few children there, but for my own sanity I will not being doing that again! :)

Kelly said...

When my boys were 5 and had birthday parties at public places either my husband or I would stay. A lot of the other parents did too. I would definitely stay at a swimming party. I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving my boys there at that age.

Karen MEG said...

I think I'd only let him go if I was able to go as well. Too many kids, it's hard to see under the water etc. etc.

It is funny, though with parties; it seems that they all go in batches here too!

Aly said...

My son will be 2 next month so take my own advice with a grain of salt but I am paranoid and overprotective. (This kid doesn't stand a chance! LOL) Personally, I would only let him go if you can go too. If you don't know the parents well, you just don't know what you're getting into if you're not able to be there. It's not like you're leaving him at a regular birthday party either. We're talking water and, even though chances are nothing would happen, there's still that slim chance. For my old ticker, that's too much of a risk but that's just me.

Like I said, take my opinion as it is...it tears me up every week to leave my son in the church nursery! *blush*

jerseygirl89 said...

I would be freaked out too. I agree with the general consensus - just go to the party with him.

Robyn said...

I think 5 might be a little young for a swim party with those numbers, I could see 5-7 kids but over 10 that seems like a lot of 5 year olds.

Danielle said...

Maybe the parents are assuming the adults will stay with their children. You could ask them what they had in mind and how they plan to handle the issues you talked about. I don't think anyone will be offended in this situation because after all they are only five and if they ask questions when their children go somewhere, I am sure they are already expecting them!!! Good luck!

Tammy said...

I would let my child go if I knew the family very well and my child was good friends with the birthday child. I think also I would stay and supervise, especially when they are so young.

Cara said...

I would not let my 5 year old go to a swim party without me either. I just don't think I would feel comfortable at that age.

Fire Hunt said...

My kids would go if I could go also.

Molly's Mom said...

If you're a party pooper, then color me brown too. I totally would not be on board with letting my child go to a swim party at a young age. Nuh uh. Not without me.

anglophilefootballfanatic.com said...

Is it possible for you to go as well? Then, you could keep tabs on him.

CC said...

I've never not gone to a party with my kids... so I'd probably just show up too! Especially since my kids can't swim (well, he's finally put his face under if that counts). So I'd probably let him go, but definitely go along as well!

Kathryn said...

Thanks for the advice, all!

If I can go along (see above explanation) I'll let him go. Otherwise, no way. I just am not comfortable with it. I've let him go to birthday parties without me before but this is different.

Thanks again! I feel less party pooperish.

Although, Brittany, I do like the song. ;)

DysFUNctional Mom said...

I have a big fear of my kids in water without me being RIGHT THERE watching. Even my 15 year old. (just kidding....ok not really)
So, my answer is NO, not unless I could stay.
I still hate it when my ex & his wife take the kids to the beach or lake on their weekends. It freaks me out to know they're in the water without me watching them. I have to try to block it out.

imbeingheldhostage said...

Yeah, I'm late and you already have it sorted (31 times) but my opinion is: I would let him go if I could go along to help out. Otherwise, I'm like you, I don't take unnecessary chances.

wright said...

Can you stay at the party to help supervise? Would you want to?

I would be nervous about a swim party with so many kids and just a few adults. I think you are totally justified for having concerns.

lime said...

my husband used to work as a swim instructor and a lifeguard at the Y. there are standards for the lifeguard to swimmer ratio so that should not be a great concern. the locker room would be more problematic though yes, so if you can hang around for that sake it doesn't seem unreasonable since you don't know the parents very well.

Bryan said...

I would let him go but I would attend. To answer your question directly, yes you are.

Lindsay said...

They at least should have specified that other adults would be there as well...or that you're welcome to stay. If you go, I would stay. But to be honest, I wouldn't want to go either - I'd make up an excuse and tell him you'll take him to the mall (or whatever) instead. :-)

painted maypole said...

around here parents always stick around for the parties, could you stick around and keep an eye on him yourself. MQ is six and an excellent swimmer, and I wouldn't be comfortable if I weren't there.

Lisa said...

Goosey had a swim party this summer, but the whole family was invited. We were in charge of the suit, towel, etc. Could you tag along?

ewe are here said...

I think the deciding factor would be if you or your husband was going, too. At that age, it would only make sense if at least one parent accompanied the child to a swim party.

Kelley said...

Personally, I screen ALL birthday parties pretty heavily.

kirsty815 said...

The only way I would let Meggers go is if my hubby or I accompanied her into the pool.

I get very overprotective when there are a lot of kids and it's a pool party. So I totally get why your nervous, but I'd rather be over protective than an ounce under protective.

Good Luck with your decision that's a tough one.
Kirst

Jaysi said...

Living in Arizona, we have swim parties all the time. However, I always go with my son. I don't ever think it is safe for kids to swim without a good amount of adults on hand and a lifeguard as well. It is just too risky. Since this is probably not so typical in your neck of the woods, the parents should have specified if you should stay or if other adults will be supervising. Even with other adults I would not send my 5 year old without me. Even if you don't get in.

As far as the changing thing.....we mostly are outside so people just throw on a cover up or something like that. I wouldn't have even thought of the showering/changing thing.

Good luck with your decision.

Merisi said...

If I were in your shoes, I would accompany him to the pool, and stay there, in the background, of course.

Take a book and relax, once you have assured yourself that the children are well taken care of.

I came over from David's Authorblog, congratulations on "Post of the Day"! :-)

Moannie said...

Without me, at five years old and a non swimmer? Absobloodyutely not!

Check out how many adults are going, invite yourself or just go.

Carol said...

Oh, sweetie...I'd be there with him! He's only 5, and you're his mama! It's refreshing to see that there's a mom out there who uses her brain!!!

Congrats on your Post of the Day award from authorblog!!

Kathryn said...

Again, thanks for letting me know I'm not just being overprotective. As I said above, I'm not sure I can make it to the party as I have two other boys to take care of and hubby may not be around that weekend. But he will definitely not be going to the party without me.
:)

Mel said...

No...no...and no...my 5 year old daughter would not be going. I've just gotten to the point where I'm *kind* of ok that she's at school in a classroom with a teacher and an aide for 2 1/2 hours a day without me. That adult/child ratio is a heck of a lot better then the swim party stats.

You're a good mama...and I'll be back...holding onto my sanity is a full time job! ; )

Hilary said...

Like the others have stated, I wouldn't let him go without being under my own or another trusted watchful eye. Regardless of all advice, the best thing is to follow your instincts and clearly they're saying "no way!"

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson